3 Must-Have Herbs for Cold & Flu Season
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
As we move into cold and flu season and with a pandemic* in our backyard I know that many moms are becoming curious about natural remedies to keep themselves and their families healthy without breaking the bank. I also know from experience that one trip into the health food store is enough to set off a wave of overwhelm and panic that could keep you from ever trying again!
In the spirit of simplicity, I am sharing with you 3 of my favorite herbs to have on hand throughout this season. These are also the ones that I recommend starting with if you are new to natural remedies and overwhelmed with all of the options.
Echinacea Root Tincture
This is one that I make sure to always have on hand at the start of the season! Echinacea is a traditional immune-modulant that has been used for hundreds of years and has been growing in popularity due to several studies that have been conducted on it’s ability to decrease the length of common viral illnesses.
Echinacea is not the best herb for taking preventatively, but it shines when used regularly from the very first sign of a cold all the way up to a week after symptoms subside. The common dosage range is 1-5ml 3x/day. Many companies also make a glycerite or a glycerite blend which is much easier for children to take and which has childrens dosages by weight on the bottle for easy dosing.
Not only do I love this herb for boosting the immune system, but due to its mild numbing/tingling properties when taken straight into the mouth, it can also be useful as a throat spray or gargle if a sore throat is one of your bothersome symptoms!
*Echinacea is recommended to use with caution in those with a strong allergy to the daisy family.*
I have loved seeing fresh ginger root make its way into the produce section of many grocery stores. Ginger is a safe and versatile herb that can be used both for seasoning as well as in potent medicinal preparations. I love to get fresh roots from the grocery store, slice them into one inch slices and freeze them so that I can grate off as much as I need, whenever I need it! It also blends deliciously into lemonade when juiced fresh.
I use it regularly during the fall and winter in teas to help me warm up from a cold day, settle my stomach after having too many holiday treats, or to help take off the chill that sometimes comes with a fever. As a potent anti-inflammatory, ginger is excellent for gently reducing fevers, for helping to calm the body aches that can come along with those fevers, and when brewed into a tea and mixed with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of honey, it can be a balm to a scratchy throat!
This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the herb that has become so popular in its syrup form! I recommend that every home with children keep this delicious preparation in the refrigerator.
This is also an herb that is best used at the onset of illness, although many families do take it daily as a preventative throughout the season. The typical adult dosage is 15ml of the syrup 4x’s daily for active illnesses, and about 1-2 tsp for children under 12- 4xs daily when sick.
*This herb is recommended to be used with caution in those with autoimmune conditions until further research is conducted on it’s effects*
If you are wanting to know how to stock your medicine cabinet this fall with some of my favorite staple remedies, without breaking the bank, then I invite you to join me for my Fall Natural Remedies Workshop! We will be spending a few hours together and preparing herbal syrups,tinctures that you can keep on hand for your family during cold and flu season!
*The information that I am sharing here is about herbs that have been shown to be helpful in dealing with the discomforts of common winter illnesses. Nothing that I am sharing here has any evidence of treating or preventing the novel coronavirus Covid19 and I am making no statements or claims that it does. As always use the remedies in conjunction with proper medical treatment.